It was a day of fun, laughter and spiritual advice on December 18, 2017, as the Officers and Marines of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force paused to give thanks during the Annual Carol Service at the Defence Force Base.

The ceremony, which also recognized the contributions of the Marines by their various departments and sub-sections for their outstanding services throughout the year. In attendance was the force’s first Bahamian Commander Defence Force, Leon L. Smith and his wife, Mrs. Helen Smith.

Leading Seaman Sharif Turnquest, a Physical Training Instructor (PTI) in the Training Department was the recipient of the Leon Smith Award, given to the overall Marine of the Year.

Also featured were students of the Gambier Primary School, chaperoned by Ms. Naomi Pinder. The students gave a splendid musical selection, and the Ecclesia Dance Group from the New Holy Spirit Ministries performed a dance routine of the song “Joyful, Joyful Lord We Adore Thee.”

The song competition among the Officers and Marines brought out most of the laughers, with Able Woman Marine Stephanie Darville taking top honors with her rendition of “See Amidst The Winter’s Snow.” Woman Marine Alancha Thompson’s spoken word entitled “Open the gift of Sonship” and Leading Seaman Nivado Ferguson’s “Hard Core Marines” brought a rousing round of applause from those in attendance.

Pastor Prince Bodie, the force’s Chaplain encouraged the men and women to be appreciative and to give more of themselves to others during this festive season.

Commodore Tellis Bethel also extended his congratulations to all of the awardees and thanked them for their hard work and dedication throughout the year. He also encouraged the Officers and Marines to look forward to a more productive year in 2018.

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